Batu will be a hot seat in GE15 – Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: The Batu parliamentary seat in Kuala Lumpur is considered one of the hot seats in the next general election, being the focus of many parties and even independents.
It became a PKR stronghold after Tian Chua won the seat in 2008 and retained it five years later in the 13th general election (GE13).
However, on the nomination day for GE14, the election officer disqualified Tian Chua from defending the seat owing to a technicality.
PKR then backed independent candidate P Prabakaran and helped him to win the seat. Prabakaran later joined PKR.
When contacted, Tian Chua confirmed his interest to compete for the Batu seat on the PKR ticket in GE15. “Yes,” he told FMT in a short reply.
However, Prabakaran, being the incumbent also plans to compete in Batu again, following his recent victory over Tian Chua for the post of Batu PKR division chief.
“Of course I’m interested. But I’ll leave it to the top leadership to make the final decision,” he told FMT.
The Batu constituency is estimated to have 112,000 voters after taking into account those aged 18 to 20, and the automatic voter registration. The breakdown by race is 43% Malay voters, Chinese (30%), Indians (20%) and others (7%).
Meanwhile, of the three peninsula parties in Barisan Nasional (BN) – Umno, MCA and MIC – the lynchpin of the coalition seems likely to put up a candidate.
Umno has several options with Yahaya Mat Ghani, the Batu BN division chief for three terms, being the most likely. He has also not denied his interest in becoming the candidate for Batu.
“But it is up to Umno’s top leadership to decide who is the most qualified candidate among the five who have been identified. We will give our undivided support to whoever is chosen,” Yahaya said.
Gerakan previously represented BN in putting up their candidate for the Batu seat in recent polls, but they have since left the coalition and joined Perikatan Nasional (PN).
However, it is uncertain if they will be given the chance with PN.
The coalition is expected to give way to a non-Malay candidate, S Gobi Krishnan, who is the Bersatu associate members’ wing information chief and the associate members’ wing chief for Batu. This move was verified by Gobi himself.
“I was born here, went to school and worked in this constituency. I’ve been doing political work and social work here for three years now. Most people in the community and the voters know me well,” he said.
Gerakan president Dominic Lau has refused to comment as to whether his party will contest the seat. However, he said Gerakan will make sure that PN will win the Batu seat.
Another candidate who has already set her eyes on winning the Batu seat is human rights lawyer and activist Siti Zabedah Kasim, better known as Siti Kasim.
She confirmed that she will be an independent candidate in the contest for the Batu parliamentary seat in GE15.
“That is correct. I will be vying for the Batu parliamentary seat. We must try. Because many people are fed up with our politicians,” she told FMT.
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